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for the first time, that there was a place called the inquisition, and that its fires had been lately lighted at Goa, near their own land. But the Portuguese, finding that the people were resolute in defending their ancient faith, began to try more conciliatory measures. They seized the Syrian bishop, Mar Joseph, sent him prisoner to Lisbon, and then convened a Synod, at one of the Syrian churches, called Diamper, near Cochin, at which the Romish archbishop Menezes presided. At this compulsory synod, 150 of the Syrian clergy appeared. They were accused of the following practices and opinions: "That they had married wives; that they owned but two sacraments, baptism and the Lord's supper; that they neither invoked saints, nor worshipped images, nor believed in purgatory; and that they* had no other orders, or names of dignity in the church, than bishop, priest and deacon." These tenets they were called on to abjure, or to suffer suspension from all church benefices. It was also decreed, that all the Syrian books, that could be found, on ecclesiastical subjects, should be burned, 'in order,' said the inquisitors, 'that no pretended apostolical monuments may remain.'"
"The churches on the sea-coast were thus compelled to acknowledge the supremacy of the pope, but they refused to pray in Latin, and insisted on retaining their own language and liturgy. This point, they said, they would only give up with their lives. The pope compromised with them; they retain their Syriac language, and have a Syriac college. But the churches in the interior would not yield to Rome; they proclaimed eternal war against the inquisition; they sought the protection of the native princes, who had always been proud of their alliance."
He further says, "The first Syrian church I visited was at Mavelycar.* They had been often visited by Romish emissaries in former times, and they at first suspected that I belonged to that communion. They had heard of the English, but strangely supposed, that they belonged to the church of the pope in the west. They had been so little accustomed to see a friend, that they could not believe I came with any friendly purpose. I had discussions with a most intelligent priest, in regard to the original language of the four gospels, which he maintained to be Syriac; and they suspected from the complexion of my argument, that I wished to weaken the evidences for their antiquity.
"The doctrines of the Syrian christians are few in number, but pure, and agree in essential points with those of the church of England; so that, although the body of the church appears to be ignorant, and formal, and dead, there are individuals who are alive to righteousness; who are distinguished from the rest by their purity of life, and are sometimes censured for too rigid a piety.
"The following are the chief doctrines of this ancient church:
"1st. They hold the doctrine of a vicarious atonement for the sins of men, by the blood and merits of Christ, and of the justification of the soul before God, by faith alone, in that atonement.
"2d. They maintain the regeneration, or new birth of the soul to righteousness, by the influence of the spirit of God, which change is called, in their books, from the Greek, the Meta-Noia, or change of mind.
* This is a compound Hebrew word, literally Me corn-pasture.
"3d. In regard to the trinity, the creed of the Syrian christians accords with that of St. Athanasius, but without the damnatory clauses. In a written and official communication to the English resident at Travancore, the metropolitan states it to be as follows: We believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons in one Gcd, neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance, one in three, and three in one: The Father generator, the Son generated, and the Holy Ghost proceeding. None is before or after the other; in majesty, honour, might and power, they are coequal; unity in trinity, and trinity in unity. In the appointed time, through the disposition of the Father and the Holy Ghost, the Son appeared on earth for the salvation of mankind: he was born of the Virgin Mary, through the means of the Holy Ghost, and was incarnate God and
Baptists differ only from other sects of christians as to the subject and the manner of administering baptism. They say, that agreeably to the command, it should be done by immersion, and that such is the meaning of ^ecTm^et: therefore, that baptism means immersion, and that it was thus understood and practised by the apostles. That Christ went down into the river Jordan to be im
# See the Ophion; or the Theology of the Serpent and the Trinity in Unity, just published, 8vo. And the Biblical criticisms in the Classical, Biblical and Oriental Journal (a quarterly publication.)
mersed by John. That the person who administered the ordinance, and the person baptised, went down into the water, Acts viii.—That those who''are baptised are said to be buried in baptism, which language, they conclude, could not with any degree of propriety be adopted, unless it signified immersion. That it is thus administered in the Greek church, and that it is also ordered to be thus administered in the church of England.
They say that when Christ commanded the disciples to "go and teach all nations, baptising them," such teaching could not include infants; therefore, that infant baptism is contrary to the command, and that it must mean adults who are capable of being taught. But they make another distinction. They hold, that all adults who are capable of being taught, ought not to be baptised, but only those who "bring forth fruit meet for repentance," agreeably to those words, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; he that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved." To persons who were thus convinced, and who proved their sincerity by an example of obedience to the divine precepts, they contend, baptism was only administered by the apostles. That their first inquiry was, whether they were proper subjects for baptism, viz. if their repentance was sincere, and if they believed in Christ. Acts viii. 12. "But when they believed Philip, preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised." ver. 36. 37. "And the eunuch said, see, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptised? And Philip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest."
Immersion was also a solemn ceremony under the Mosaic dispensation.
They were so named, because they rebaptised their converts, as the word signifies. This custom of rebaptising when of an adult age, is not modern. In the early ages of the church, Donatus, a famous minister, separated from the body of professors, and rebaptised those who were capable of making a profession of their faith, after the manner of the eunuch.
PARTICULAR AND GENERAL BAPTISTS.
Since the time of Calvin, the custom of rebaptising adults was for a long time confined to those of the Calvinistic persuasion; but of late years, many who were not receivers of that doctrine, but Who were strictly Arminians, embraced the same opinion respecting this ancient rite. There now was a necessity for a distinction between these two sects; therefore, the first, or those who believed in election, were termed Particular Baptists, and the other, General Baptists.
SEVENTH DAY BAPTISTS
Are so called, because they keep the seventh day as the sabbath, and consider it holy. They say that there is not any command in scripture for keeping the first day of the week, and that the command to keep the